Blog Entry

A W is a W

Posted on: November 14, 2010 9:55 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2010 3:42 pm

Note:  Clicking a team link in this blog will show you how everyone voted for that team.  Clicking a voter name link will show you their ballot. 

Wisconsin earned some serious style points this week.  By “style points”, I mean stylishly destroying Indiana 83 to 20!  Getting that many points has to impress everyone.  It definitely impressed the voters since the Badgers remain the highest ranked one-loss team in the BCS human polls (No. 5).  However, it didn’t impress the computers one byte.  BCS computers are mandated to exclude margin of victory in their rankings.  In fact, the computers actually dropped Wisconsin an average of two places from last week (from 10 to 12).  BCS computers have no sense of style.

Outside the top four, there are two ranked, non-BCS teams:  Utah and Nevada.  This week’s polls, particularly the Coaches’ Poll, are a lesson in just how important record is to ranking.  If you remove, Utah and Nevada, every other team falls in line based on their record:  the first four teams have no losses, the next 7 have one loss, the next 5 have two losses, and the last seven have three losses.  The other polls aren’t quite as delineated as the Coaches’ Poll, but they’re close.

It’s safe to say that the number-one factor in determining a team’s ranking is its record.  That’s why Pollspeak always advocates using head-to-head results as a tie-breaker only when two teams have the same number of losses.  On that note…

Head to Head Lines:

The ACC is a bit tricky to figure out this season.  Especially when there are four teams with 7-3 records that have only one head-to-head result each:  NC State, Florida State, Maryland and Miami.   Maryland only received one vote this week in the AP, so let’s focus on the other three:

·         NC State beat Florida State

·         Florida State beat Miami

·         NC State and Miami don’t play

They all have the same record, so in the makeshift playoff we call the regular season, the teams should be ranked in this order:

·         NC State

·         Florida State

·         Miami

However, all three human polls have Miami on top, Harris Interactive has FSU at No. 25 and none of them have NC State in the top 25.  It’s exactly the opposite of the head-to-head order.  That means a bunch of people got it wrong; however, there are so many wrongdoers, I’m going to try something different.  I’m going to give kudos to all of those who got it right.  Here is their chance to stand out and shine in the bright spotlight:

Andy Staples, Chad Cripe, Chip Cosby, Chris Fowler, Desmond Connor, Doug Lesmerises, Jon Solomon, Kirk Herbstreit, Kyle Tucker, Mark Anderson, Randy Rosetta, Ray Ratto, Travis Haney, Wes Rucker

The following people MAY have gotten it right, but since they didn’t rank ANY of the three teams, it’s hard to give them full credit:

Bill Cole, Bob Asmussen, Bob Hammond, Brett McMurphy, Ferd Lewis, Jack Bogaczyk, Joe Giglio, John Shinn, Kyle Veazey, Mike DeArmond, Scott Wolf, Steve Conroy, Tom Murphy

That’s still only 14 out of 60 voters who got it right and 13 more who maybe got it right.  More than half of the voters got at least one pair wrong based on head-to-head results.  OK, I can’t go without at least one tiny, off-handed mention of one person who got it all wrong:

The Voter who has it most backwards is


who has Miami at No. 22, Florida State at No. 25 and NC State unranked. 

For some reason, people tend to focus on the negatives about voters, so I hope Pollspeak readers appreciate this attempt to highlight the positives.


Since: Nov 18, 2010
Posted on: November 18, 2010 1:23 pm

A W is a W

So you are saying that playing a game against each other shouldn't have any bearing on which team is better?  That doesn't make any sense at all.  I can only understand your reasoning if the two teams have different or vastly different records.  That could mean that a fluke game may have taken place or that some extenuating circumstances may have played a role.  In your extreme example, you could only say Team A is better than Team B is if they did not play each other.  The best way to determine which of two teams with the same records is better is to play a game between them.  Otherwise, why play games at all?

Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2010 8:18 pm

A W is a W

I like to see who has the better head to head. BSU and TCU same QB's. BSU is 2 and 0 when current QB's have played each other in bowls. Oregon they have new QB from last year but same team for most part other then QB that got dominated by BSU defense last year. Auburn clearly great QB and can score but defense not very good. They need to score a lot. Oregon destroyed Tenn, LSU was lucky to win vs Tenn. Sec is good but not as strong as past years. Georgia lsot to Colorado! TCU well last year they where better and so was Mountian West but still lost to BSU again. All I know is when given a chance the last 5 years BSU win the games vs good teams like TCU, Oregon, Oklahoma. They have a lot of talent that will end up in NFL. Maybe more then others 3 this year. People have been saying same things about BSU for years now but they just keep winning. I have to say teams like Nevada which scored 51 and killed Cal is in same conference as BSU. So is Hawaii and Fresno state. The WAC is bettetr this year but sure not the Sec etc. Until someone beats BSU in a bowl game they are as good or better then any ranked teams. College football like basketball is just not about only major conferences have all the talent anymore. It become more like basketball. Last year even a Butler was able to beat big name teams and make it to the final. Too bad we cannot have a playoff and never will. See BCS system is not part of NCAA. They run their own show and championship. If they ever agreed to playoff they have to share the money made with NCAA. never going to happen too much money made the way it is. I wish polls would remeber the past few years. UTAH porved in sugar bowl non BCA team can dominte the big boys like a one loss BAMA 2 years ago. They where big favs and got killed. The best of Mountian West like TCU or  WAC like BSU can play and beat anyone period.

Since: Aug 24, 2010
Posted on: November 16, 2010 9:01 am

A W is a W

A win is a win when teams play each other, but why debate who's best in the ACC & Big East?  Were it not for selectively unbalanced SOS programs TCU & BSU would not be fighting for third and forth, seeking a game with hat-in-hand among undeserving AQ teams.  TCU is actually rated worse now, by SOS numbers, than before their game against Utah.  How can they go from 19, ahead of Auburn, to 69, when Oregon goes from 8 to 10?  The BCS has support not from fans, but from AQ conference officials.  A thing that is relatively fair is also relatively unfair.     

Since: Jan 8, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2010 3:47 am

A W is a W

Suicidaire:  TCU lost points in the BCS polls not because they only beat San Diego St by 5 points.  It had more to do with the fact that the best team they beat, Utah was spanked by Notre Dame.  Baylor, which might be the second best team that TCU won against lost at home to Texas A&M by 12 as well.  The computer polls take all this in to account. 

This is the reason why you hear Boise St fans saying that Virgina Tech is their second favorite team this season.  The better the Hokies do this season, the more computer points the Broncos receive. 

Since: Oct 31, 2010
Posted on: November 15, 2010 9:44 pm

A W is a W

Didn't LSU gain on Wisconsin in both of the human BCS polls this week?  Wisconsin must not have impressed the voters that much.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2010 9:22 pm

A W is a W

First off, I can't tell a nickels difference between the 3 of them because they are all bad.

Secondly, head-to-head is the most overused and often illogical way to compare teams.  An extreme example:

Team A is 10-1, they lost only to team B who is 10-1.
Team B is 10-1, they lost only to a team that is 1-10.

Now, if I told you to compare 2 teams, one that lost only to a 10-1 (and a top 5 ranked team) and one that lost to an unranked and crappy 1-10 team, who would you rank higher?

Of course, the team that has had the better season is the one who LOST HEAD TO HEAD.

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2010 5:20 pm

A W is a W

A W is not a W when you're not in a Cartel Conference. TCU beat the #27 team in the country by 5 after letting a 37-14 lead crumble in the 4th quarter. They were dropped in every human poll. Oregon beat a 5-4 Cal team by 2 after struggling all night. They didn't drop in any of the polls.

Double standards are fun and all, but while the deliniation of teams is pure in the Coaches' Poll, it doesn't resolve the issue of having 4 undefeated teams. Everyone knows the only reason Oregon and Auburn are ahead of TCU and Boise St. because they are in AQ conferences. Oregon's resume is scattered with rubbish. Auburn has a HUGE black cloud over their heads with Newton's dad admitting he solicited money and then chose where his son went to play. There are no coincedences.

Auburn should do the world a favor and lose to Alabama, so they don't hijack a spot in the "championship" game. Regardless of the outcome of their season, it will all be stripped away eventually.

Since: Sep 20, 2009
Posted on: November 15, 2010 12:28 pm

A W is a W

What is sad is J.P Giglio who is a sports writer for the News and Observer in Raleigh N.C. and has a vote in the poll. He does not even have NCST ranked and he writes for the local paper there he put N. Ill at number 25

Since: Oct 26, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2010 12:24 pm

A W is a W

Again, head-to-head should be used when two teams have the same number of losses and the teams have played each other.  That is completely reasonable and far less harsh than a real playoff, where head-to-head results are all that matters. 

If Miami and NC State played, all three teams likely wouldn’t have the same losses.  In your scenario, NC State would have one more loss, and the problem would be solved.  However, it does happen occasionally (i.e. Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech not too long ago.)  In that case, you then go to a second tie-breaker, which I suggest should be strength-of-schedule, but that isn’t nearly as obvious as head-to-head results.  So it will more often come down to the voter’s best judgment in those rare cases.

Now you (or a voter) can rationalize why one team lost over another: weather, injuries, bad reffing, etc.  There are hundreds of excuses used.  However, those reasons are also typically used by people with an agenda (i.e. fans).    When somebody doesn’t have a dog in the hunt, (not surprisingly) head-to-head seems much more acceptable.  That’s the criteria we historically use for judging success in college and professional sports.  Arguing otherwise is also an argument against playoffs.   Should the BCS champion always be the team who wins the BCS Championship Game?  Or should it go to the team with the best season as determined by the BCS formula, regardless of the results?


Since: Apr 3, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2010 9:19 am

A W is a W

hmm, did you ever stop to think that maybe head to head isn't the answer and that those other people actually got it RIGHT?!?!  Especially when all 3 teams you are looking at don't play each other.  What would you do if miami and NC state actually did play and miami won?  your poor logic would be screwed.  there are just far too many factors affecting a football season to narrow it down to head to head in evaluating the teams.  Let's say Miami doesn't play OSU and plays a weak team and wins.  Now they are 8-2 and not even in your discussion.  You simply cannot fall back on head to head when the records are the same because there are many reasons why the records are the same without meaning the teams are equal.  San Diego State's 7-3 record does not equal Miami's. Just like Boise State's 10-0 doesn't equal Auburn's.  Your solution is too narrowminded and therefore YOU are the one who is wrong.

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